Masvingo – Life is filled with choices. Most of them mundane, some monumental. No one makes the right decisions all of the time. Some are lucky to have made the wrong decisions at some point in their lives but miraculously emerge from a situation unscathed. Others make the wrong choice and it alters the course of their life forever.
By Sukuoluhle Ndlovu
If you’re seeking a cautionary tale, look no further than former Zimbabwe senior soccer team right back and 2009 soccer star, Godfrey Dondo.
Popularly known as Mai Mahofa, a name he got at a match against Dynamos in 2003 is still with the Asipo Haapo as the assistant player coach.
In an exclusive interview with Sportbrief’s Masvingo reporter, Sukuoluhle Ndlovu, Dondo regrets why he turned down offers from local premier league giants that wanted to sign him during his heydays.
“If only i had accepted the offer i would be somewhere else living my dream outside Zimbabwe but such is life you never know what the future holds. Refusing the other teams offer was one of the mistakes i did in my career,” he said.
During his peak days, Dondo won the hearts of many coaches mainly from big clubs like Dynamos and Caps United but he turned them down in favour of his beloved then financially sound team, Masvingo united.
“Opportunity comes knocking at your door once in a lifetime and never cease to take that opportunity because of the uncertainties of life, ” he advised other players.
“If i had foreseen the future, i am sure I would have made the right choice. When you play your cards well, one can make an investment through football and actually football is an investment” he said in a regretful smile.
Asked about the future of football in Masvingo, he said its difficult for a team from Masvingo to be promoted into the PSL because of divisive spirit in the City.
“People of Masvingo need to be organised and other teams want to destroy the household team Masvingo United, if these teams come together will form a strong team that will be promoted into the PSL,” he noted.
The former dreadlocked hard-tackling defender said though still has passion for playing competitive football, age has caught up with him.
“Age is becoming a barrier for me as i am now 39 years old and teams are interested in young players,” said Dondo.
His passion for competitive football can only limit him to Division One and Two teams because of age. The Gutu born footballer is now desperate to leave Masvingo United for another resourceful team in the Division one league for his upkeep.
Dondo joined Masvingo United in 1999 when it was promoted into the Premier Soccer League. In 2002 he became the first player to be selected to play for Induna in Bulawayo. In 2006 he was nominated amongst the 11 selected national soccer stars of the year.
In 2009 he captained FC Platinum where he scooped the soccer star of the year and most consistent player of the year gongs. After being offloaded by Rahman Gumbo he came back to Masvingo United.
His immense talent caught the eye of Charles Mhlauri and his moment of glory came when he was selected to play for the national and he went to places like Mozambique and Zambia.
Dondo took up football seriously at the age of nine while he was doing Grade Four at Inkomo Barracks in Harare and got his first certificate. He continued to shine and he impressed with some stunning right back tactics and caught the attention of his teacher Henry Man’oro who then made him play for Zimbabwe Saints Juniors in Bulawayo and that became the launch pad of his career.